Honey Buzzes with Excitement over ‘Flavor of the Year’ Award!

National Honey Board Celebrates Sweet Success During National Honey Month

(Courtesy of the National Honey Board, www.honey.com)


Consumers, restaurateurs, manufacturers and home cooks alike have come to an agreement in 2015 on one golden ingredient – honey. This beloved sweetener, which was named Flavor of the Year by Firmenich, is being recognized for its unique flavor and its versatility as an ingredient, elevating its status beyond an everyday sweetener. In honor of National Honey Month, the National Honey Board (NHB) continues to bear the good news and raise awareness about honey and its many culinary uses.

“We are thrilled to be named Flavor of the Year for 2015. We have seen honey grow exponentially in its use with chefs, manufacturers and consumers over the last few years, especially with yogurt, craft beers and baked goods,” explained Catherine Barry, NHB director of marketing. “With consumers’ preferences leaning towards artisanal, natural and clean-label ingredients, we believe consumers are realizing the potential of honey as a premier ingredient in foods and beverages.”

Honey has been gaining momentum among consumers and food manufacturers in recent years and can be seen in candy, snacks, baked goods, beverages, brewing and even dairy products. Producers are recognizing that honey’s use in these products is bringing functionality, mouthfeel and flavor to the table, and consumers agree. According to a recent Consumer Sweetener Usage & Attitudes Study Report1 fielded by the NHB, 6 out of 10 consumers agreed that foods sweetened with honey taste better than food made with other sweeteners. In addition, 46 percent of total consumers say they have used honey in the past month2 adding to the continued growth and demand of honey on menus and in households.

“Product developers are realizing what a fantastic and versatile flavor honey is in regards to combining it with other tonalities, making honey an easy choice for Flavor of the Year,” says Patrick Salord, senior flavorist at Firmenich.

“Crafted from the nectar of flowering plants, honey’s unique flavor profile is unlike any other,” shared the experts at Firmenich when making the announcement. With more than 300 varietals in the United States, ranging in flavor and appearance, this iconic sweetener pleases all taste preferences and is appealing to consumers of all ages. In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor. From smoothies to grilling and baking, it is hard to find a flavor of honey that doesn’t pair well with numerous dishes.

Beyond taste, honey has a multitude of functional benefits for both cooking and baking. Honey attracts and holds moisture, enhancing freshness and shelf life, and it acts as a binder and thickener for sauces, dressings and marinades. Honey also adds a rich golden or amber touch to finished recipes, can be used as a substitution for granulated sweeteners, or can serve as a simple syrup in cocktails or beverages.

We think that winning the 2015 Flavor of the Year award is just the beginning for this artisanal ingredient, as we have known for years that honey’s versatility and multi-functional use expands beyond an everyday sweetener in your tea or on toast. We are thrilled to watch the momentum build as consumers become more educated about their food choices.

In a world where flavor is everything, Firmenich believes that “honey has the potential to enter the flavor canon in the likes of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, perennial favorites that reach the ultimate flavor adjective: classic.” How sweet would that bee?

Click here to learn more about Firmenich and their selection of honey as the 2015 ‘Flavor of the Year.’